Gear up for pollution-free ride

Chandaka sanctuary authorities roll out battery-operated vehicles

By Bibhuti Barik in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 19.03.15
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A visitor rides a battery-operated vehicle in Chandaka Dampara Sanctuary. Telegraph picture

Bhubaneswar, March 18: Travellers entering the Chandaka Dampara Sanctuary through Godibari gate will now be able to ride non-polluting battery-operated vehicles.

Authorities of the sanctuary have procured three such vehicles to take around visitors to the sanctuary. The service has been launched in the first week of this month.

Tourists, comprising six adults, can hire the vehicle and a single trip will cost them Rs 100.

"The battery-operated vehicles will minimise the sound and air pollution inside the sanctuary. Moreover, the silent vehicles will facilitate better chance of animal sighting inside the forest. A group of tourists can enter 20 to 30km inside the forest from the Godibari entrance and visit the landscape, watch towers and animals coming to the water bodies to drink water," said divisional forest officer Manoj Kumar Mohapatra.

He said: "We have a rich collection of fauna in Chandaka. Tourists can visit the sanctuary between 6am and 7am and again after 5pm. The silent vehicles gives them better chance of spotting animals near the water bodies inside the sanctuary."

Besides, the authorities have also started the much-awaited adventure sports activities near the Godibari entrance. Sports such as rock climbing, river crossing and trekking through two nature trails are included under the scheme, and one can enjoy the adventure sports on paying Rs 100. For community viewing, groups of students can also watch films or videos at the theatre near the Godibari entrance.

The two nature trails exist near the Godibari entrance. To enter through the gate, each visitor has to pay Rs 20. On the other hand, schoolchildren, coming in groups, will have to pay an entry fee of Rs 10 per head.

"We have decided to include more school students from all institutions in the city. If they come in groups, discounts will definitely be allowed. Since the opening of the facilities during the first week of this month, 12 schools from the city and its outskirts have taken part in the event," said a forest official.

Nature lover Srikanta Mishra said: "Regular bus and other public transport options will help travellers getting to the spot. It is emerging as an attractive weekend destination."

The authorities say a group of around 20 persons can ideally enter the sanctuary. But, the tour can be made during summer and winter as during monsoon animal sighting becomes rare.

"We are trying to educate the students on nature and its importance just near the outskirts of the city," said an official.